Outdoor TVs: A Buyer's Guide

Imagine the perfect afternoon for being outside – the weather is just right and the sun is shining. But the big game is on and you don’t want to miss it. 

An outdoor TV is a perfect solution. It's durable enough to withstand the elements and can be seen even in the bright sun, assuming you buy the best one for you.

Buying the right one is easy if you have the right information. Hive is one of many companies that helps people bring their entertainment system outdoors, but we want this guide to be for anyone, anywhere, who's interested in outdoor TVs.

We’ll be talking about outdoor TVs, specifically:

  • what the difference between a regular TV and outdoor TV is
  • who an outdoor TV would be good for
  • what to consider when buying an outdoor TV

What’s the difference between an indoor and an outdoor TV?

Of course, the biggest difference between indoor and outdoor TVs is that outdoor TVs are built to withstand being outside constantly.

While many can't be fully submerged in water for an extended period, they can withstand varying amounts of rain and constant humidity. Depending on their durability, which we'll discuss shortly, they can also withstand dust, dirt, and other things that might get into the TV's casing. 

Outdoor TVs are also resistant to glare from sunlight. The more direct sunlight your TV will be under, the brighter it needs to be. Typically, indoor TVs aren’t able to get bright enough to combat glare.

One similarity between indoor and outdoor TVs is that they come in various sizes depending on your needs. However, outdoor TVs – especially the larger ones – are usually more expensive because of their additional features and increased durability. 

Who would an outdoor TV be a good fit for?

Outdoor TVs are best for people who might not have an outdoor space that can be adequately shielded from the sun and elements. For instance, if you live in a humid place with a ton of pollen or dust and your patio is directly exposed to the sun, an outdoor TV would be perfect. 

But if you have a lanai with plenty of coverage from the sun and elements, you might just need a very inexpensive indoor TV that you wouldn’t feel too bad about replacing.

What to consider when buying an outdoor TV

Buying an outdoor TV requires a few more considerations than buying an indoor TV. Think about the following:

  • Your space
  • Your environment
  • What you’ll watch
  • Durability
  • Price

Your space

Have you ever gotten to the movies a little too late, forcing you to sit in the first row and crane your neck to see the screen? You don't want to recreate that experience on your lanai or patio.

Not only should you choose a TV that’s an appropriate size for your space, but you should think of how far you can sit away from your screen and still have a good viewing experience.

For example, if you have a wall that can hold a 75-inch TV, but your seating area isn’t big, you may want to go with a TV that’s more comfortable to look at from a closer distance. A good rule of thumb is to have your TV take up 30° of your field of vision

You can also be creative in your TV placement. They can go above outdoor fireplaces, at the end of gazebos, right at the end of pools, and more. If you’ve planned your outdoor space well, you can find a spot to get the most out of your TV, no matter what you're doing. 

Your environment

When it comes to the environment your TV will go in, think about two things – sun exposure and climate.

When it comes to sun exposure, outdoor TVs typically come in partial-sun or full-sun options. A partial-sun TV is good for spaces like lanais, where there may be shade for most of the day, while a full-sun TV can go in direct sunlight without glare. 

When looking at the amount of sun it’ll be exposed to, look at the TV’s NITS – a measure of brightness. The higher the Nits, the brighter the screen. Full sun TVs have higher Nits to combat harsh glare direct sunlight can create, while partial-sun TVs have lower Nits. 

Outdoor TVs typically range between 750 up to 2500 Nits. Anything below that may make it hard to see your screen on sunny days, defeating the purpose of the outdoor TV in the first place.

Your climate also matters. Outdoors TVs have more durable screens, power cables, and ports, but some can withstand the elements better than others. A TV’s ingress protection is a two-digit number that indicates how weatherproof it is. The first number measures its resistance to solids like dust, and the second measures its resistance to water.

The solids protection ranges from 1-6, from the least dust-resistant to the most dust resistant. The liquids protection ranges from 1 to 8. 1 is the least water resistant, while 8 means it can be submerged in up to 10 feet of water. 

If you live in a place with a lot of rain, temperature extremes, or dust, invest in a TV with an appropriate IP rating.

How you’ll use it

Maybe you're a sports enthusiast who wants to watch a game in the afternoon, but maybe you want to watch a movie late at night with the fire pit roaring in front of you.

Since outdoor TVs are a financial investment, as we’ll get into shortly, you only want to buy as much TV as you need. If you live somewhere with temperate and only plan to use the TV from sunset onward, you might not need the most heavy-duty, full-sun TV. 

But if your winters are filled with snowstorms and freezing temps, while your summer highs can reach over 100°, a more heavy-duty TV will last you much longer.


Outdoor TVs typically cost more than their indoor counterparts – after all, they’re more resistant to weather and have added features to allow you to see them in the sun. 

The bigger the outdoor TV, the higher the price. For instance, an all-weather 85-inch full-sun outdoor TV can cost between $15,000 and $20,000, while a 55-inch version of that same TV will cost around $8000.

Is an outdoor TV for you?

With an outdoor TV, you won’t have to worry about rain or dust ruining your good time. While it’s a big financial investment, it can be a valuable upgrade to your parties and get-togethers.

If you still aren’t sure if you should take the plunge with an outdoor TV, ask:

  • How often do you entertain, and would the gatherings be enhanced with additional entertainment?
  • Do you have a space that could work for an outdoor TV?
  • What would your budget be for a TV that may not get daily use? 

If you know you’d like an outdoor TV and feel that Hive could be a good fit, call us at (813) 575-HIVE or contact us here.

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